Desperate TVC housewife craves rollover minutes…and a new wardrobe!
October 12, 2009
“With the money we save I could buy a new outfit!”
Warning: The following piece has almost no cultural importance whatsoever. Did I say almost? Try none. But like a hangnail that you can’t keep from picking I’ve got a peeve. At least my gripe is ostensibly about advertising.
The bugaboo I’m toying with pertains to wardrobe in TV commercials; specifically the wrinkled button downs everyone seems to be wearing in everything. Whether it’s that annoyingly savvy mom who’s obsessed with saving minutes or the generic everyman shopping for flat screen TVs, they are always wearing the same clothes: a frumpy button down over a washed out tee-shirt. The ensemble is almost always finished with blue jeans or khakis. But I’m going to leave those alone. Jeans and khakis are ubiquitous and a fair choice. It is the torso coverings that disturb me.
I’ve got nothing against wrinkly, button downs. I’m sure there are several hanging in my closet. But here’s the thing: I hardly ever wear them. Once in a while, I suppose, but it’s hardly my uniform of choice. Nor is it my wife’s. As a matter of fact, I never see women wearing such things.
For all it’s frumpiness and casualness, the look is too damn choreographed. It is as if all the decision makers behind choosing wardrobe on set (wardrobe person, art director, copywriter, creative director, clients, actors) had a two-hour meeting to discuss just what exactly Everyman wears when he’s going to the Home Depot.
As if? Sadly, this is exactly what happens. I’ve made at least 100 commercials in my career and choosing wardrobe is a fact of the matter. Why it turns into a UN meeting I’ve no idea. But the result is always the same: a frumpy button down over a washed out tee shirt.
Is this the icon of American suburbia? Should it be? I say “No” to both questions. And not because it’s boring, which it is. What irks me most is how unreal it is. Especially when the shirt is unbuttoned and un-tucked. If you’re not going to button the damn thing why put it on? Sweatshirts and comfy sweaters are what people really wear when they’re running errands or picking up the kids from activities. That, or like my wife, they dress nicely for everything. You never know whom you’ll meet at the school drop off!
Look, I’m not advocating folks (real or in commercials) wear sweatpants. God forbid. I just have a healthy loathing for that damn perky suburban mom look.
Pervasive, annoying and fake, it has the same false bearing as casting a hot wife and schlub for a husband. Only in TV land do babes choose heavyset, homely simpletons for husbands. Some of us may become homely and heavyset but, hey, so do our women. Still, let’s keep this about the shirt not what’s in it!
Here’s that savvy mom again -same outfit, different colors!